Lewis Hamilton has no time for negativity amid ‘sabotage’ claims at Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton has called for “support and not negativity” following an anonymous e-mail which claimed the seven-time world champion’s Mercedes is being “sabotaged”.

The letter, said to written by a disgruntled Mercedes staff member, was sent to Formula One’s major players – including the Silver Arrows’ team principal Toto Wolff, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, as well as members of the media – in the wake of the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month.

The letter, which it is understood Mercedes do not believe has originated from within their team, suggested Hamilton, who is leaving them to join Ferrari next season, is being mistreated in his farewell campaign.

The list of e-mail recipients was the same used to leak messages pertaining to be exchanged between Christian Horner and his complainant on the eve of the season-opening race in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton drives his Mercedes around the track as he is chased by two cars
Lewis Hamilton is leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari next season (David Davies/PA)

Social media is also awash with claims of foul play against Hamilton. And ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, the 39-year-old was asked to respond to fans who have suggested his machine is being sabotaged.

“They know that if you look down the years we have been a strong team and worked hard together,” said Hamilton, who revealed that he has not seen the e-mail in question.

“It is easy to get emotional. I only commented on the last race for example just about my performance. We need support, not negativity.”

Hamilton has been out-qualified by team-mate George Russell at eight of the nine races so far this season.

Hamilton missed out on a podium in Montreal when Russell overtook him on the penultimate lap. The younger Briton has since been subjected to online abuse.

“I was not actually aware George was experiencing negativity,” continued Hamilton, who trails Russell by 14 points in the standings.

“George has done nothing but his best every single weekend and delivered for the team so he cannot be faulted at all.

“Of course there can always be things that are done better within the team, and that comes through conversations and communication which is something we are consistently working on.

“We are all in the same boat and working hard together. We all want to finish on a high and I feel like we owe that to our long-term relationship.”

Russell impressed in Montreal to take Mercedes’ first pole position of the season, with Hamilton seventh on the grid.

Mercedes driver George Russell scratches his face
George Russell heads Hamilton 8-1 in qualifying this year (David Davies/PA)

Russell, 26, said: “I have a team that looks after my social media. I don’t look on Instagram or Twitter to be honest.

“(The comments) are not something I have seen. I have heard about it, and it is never nice to hear, but that is the world we live in at the moment and unfortunately any person in the public eye is facing it.

“Social media is a double-edged sword. You see funny things and it keeps you up to date, but on the flip side, everybody in the limelight receives negativity.”